Car washer in Dubai with Dh1,300 salary wins Dh10 million Mahzooz jackpot

Bharat from Nepal and his two friends will share the prize money

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A car washer in Dubai said his life changed after winning the Dh10 million ($2.7m) Mahzooz jackpot.

Bharat, 31, from Nepal, bought the winning ticket with his two friends and pledged to share the prize money.

He said he aims to spend the winnings on his family and surgery for his brother who was paralysed after a brain tumour.

The 94th grand draw was won after matching the five winning numbers: 16, 27, 31, 37 and 42.

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I look forward to paying off my mortgages, bills and set up a fund for my two children
Bharat, Dh10 million Mahzooz winner

Bharat said 27 and 16 were his lucky numbers — the first being the date of his birthday and the other his wedding day. His wife and two children aged 3 and 5 live in Nepal.

Making only Dh1,300 a month, he is one of the lowest-earning winners and will take a holiday before going to see his family in Nepal.

Bharat, who worked in a power plant in Saudi Arabia before moving to Dubai three years ago, said he was unlikely to quit his car washing job after winning the jackpot.

“I want to keep working,” he said.

“I have been participating in Mahzooz since it started, at first it was with a group of friends as we didn’t have much money.

“Now I entered with two friends. I told my family that I had won, but I have not told them how much.

“I have taken part in other draws, but thought Mahzooz was more credible so I’ve continued to play.

“To win is amazing, but I always had confidence that one day it would happen.”

Family responsibilities come first

Although he spends all day washing cars in Al Quoz, Bharat was in no rush to go out and buy himself a new flashy sports car.

Instead, the money will be spent closer to home, he said.

“I will use the money to care for my family and my brother’s health expenses,” Bharat said.

“The UAE has given me a lot of opportunities, so I want to stay here, but I want to take a holiday first.

“Two of the numbers were special to me ― my birthday and wedding anniversary ― but the others were at random. I change them every time.

“I put the numbers on at 1am and hoped for the best.

Farid Samji, chief executive of Ewings, the operator of Mahzooz, right, hands a cheque for Dh10million to Bharat from Nepal. Pawan Singh / The National

“When I finished my duty I went back to my room to watch the numbers come in at about 9pm. When they came in, there was a lot of commotion.

“I am looking forward to paying off my mortgages and other bills as soon as possible.

“It’s important for me to set up the future of my two children aged 5 and 3 years old.

"This would be an incredible thing to be able to accomplish.

“This prize will enable me to achieve so much and change the lives of so many people.”

Prize money has changed lives

So far, more than 3,200 lucky Nepalese participants have been among Mahzooz winners, 28 of whom have landed the first and second prizes

The competition is expanding its reach. Each week, between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of draw participants are from outside the UAE.

In the 94th weekly live Mahzooz draw, 41 winners shared the second prize of Dh1,000,000 and 1,174 winners bagged the third prize of Dh350 each.

Additionally, three winners took home Dh300,000 in the raffle draw, which features three guaranteed winners every week.

The total prize money won in the 94th draw was Dh11,719,900.

“For many people, Dh35 is a good deal of money, so stories like Bharat’s are compelling,” said Farid Samji, chief executive of Ewings, operator of Mahzooz.

“He is one of the lowest earners among our winners, so it will make a huge difference to him and his family.

“There is a reason why we keep producing these winners, it is fair and trusted, so people want to take part.

“We make dreams come true.”

Because Bharat does not have a bank account, he will get help to open his first one with Mahzooz, a for-profit organisation with shareholders.

Since its launch, the Mahzooz game design has changed to make it easier to win.

Over the summer, six people won the Dh10 million jackpot prize.

“We make it quick and easy for people to get their hands on their winnings,” Mr Samji said.

“Bharat will have access to his winnings in just a few days.”

Since its launch, Dh280 million in prize money has been paid out to 190,000 winners.

The smallest prize is Dh350, with about 15,000 people winning that amount each week.

Once a water bottle is bought, funds are distributed to needy groups, such as workers.

The company also has a corporate social responsibility programme, with cash distributed among 15 registered charities and NGOs in the UAE, including the Al Jalila Foundation.

“We help people with their cancer care or who need cochlear implants for their hearing, or computer labs for people of determination,” Mr Samji said.

“Many people benefit from Mahzooz, not just the prize winners.

“Al Jalila is one of our key partners and we can help raise money very quickly for them when it is needed.

“There is a long list of success stories, and more than 8,000 families have benefited to date.

“We have some changes coming to the competition late this year that will blow people away.”

Entrants buy a bottle of water for Dh35 and receive a ticket with it.

People can take part by registering at www.mahzooz.ae

Lottery winners tell of how jackpot changed their lives – in pictures

Updated: September 21, 2022, 12:22 PM
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